Go for a Supernatural Trip with Someoddpilot's Splashy Book, 'Space Becomes You'

By Stephen Ostrowski | March 4, 2019 | Culture

Chicago creatives Someoddpilot ponder life’s big questions to inspirational effect with a transcendental new tome.

Space Becomes You from Someoddpilot

Neon pyramids, three-faced humans, incandescent skulls— clearly not markers of our world. But whose?

Welcome to Space Becomes You, the out-there monograph from record label-turned-branding-and-design studio Someoddpilot, born out of the desire of founder and creative director Chris Eichenseer and managing director and partner Annika Welander to realize the studio’s ethos in a physical, “almost cultlike form” (notes Eichenseer, “We’ve jokingly called it the belief system for nonbelievers”). In doing so, the Wicker Park-based outfit redirected the “world-building” they’ve perfected for clients like Saucony and Patagonia inward to visually articulate their own mythology. “Joseph Campbell would argue that mythology is necessary for us to understand our own lives,” explains Eichenseer, referencing the pioneering academic, adding, “[It] builds a rubric or lens around that experience.”

A spread from Space Becomes You

Catalyzing the 288-page journey (complemented by ancillary projects like a gender-neutral clothing line and photo exhibition) is the billion-dollar brainworm, “Who are you & why are you here?” To address it, Eichenseer and colleagues shot visuals at the nearby Flat Iron Arts Building and experimented with mirroring to produce “impossible beings,” among other sleight-of-hand creative techniques. The visuals are interpolated with copy of Eichenseer’s own, juxtaposed with language culled from UFO cults, “to sort of suggest that there’s all these cosmic beings out in the universe, and you’re just one tiny fragment of that,” Eichenseer explains.

A spread from Space Becomes You

The result: an alchemy of the natural world that provides a refreshing vantage point for the contentious social and political climate that, Eichenseer notes, partly galvanized the project’s creation: “We’re assembled from cosmic dust and debris, little bits and pieces from all over the universe, from the origin of the universe. That inherently makes us all unspecial or different from a rhinoceros or a fern or a single-cell organism. And while that might seem diminishing to some, it’s actually this massive pass to be who you are. I think the ultimate message of the book is: Enjoy the ride.” $50, someoddpilot.com

Photography by: Photos by Chris Eichenseer/courtesy of Someoddpilot